On begin very old

From: Christopher Maloney <dude.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 10:29:39 -0400

I just had a few thoughts about this, and I want to get them
down before I forget.

Jacques says that the ASSA predicts that we'll never be "very
old", because the measure of observer moments goes down with
subjective time. I'm not so sure about this.

I do think that it probably predicts that we should never find
ourselves to be extraordinary - I believe he called this the
"Copernican Anthropic Principle", CAP. When I said that, no
matter how old you are, you could always argue that you're not
"very old", he replied:

> We have been over this *many* times. A) "Old" is when your finite
> brain is too old to even know how old it is.

If we, while alive, are continually growing and assimilating more
information and more capacity for information, then this state
will never be reached.

> B) In any case, "old" is
> much older than the age that would be expected if QTI is false:

This statement begs the question.

> In QTI
> one should expect one's age *relative to* the other people you see to be
> large, certainly *****not***** less than or of order 1! If you were
> 10,000 and everyone else was <100 at least you would have reason to supect
> the rules might be different for you than for third parties.

Here's the crux of the bisquit: the CAP.

Now, it is possible to live forever and not violate the CAP. It is even
possible that the measure of observer moments throughout an infinite
lifetime never decreases substantially. By "substantially", let me throw
out the possibility that it may be true that it decreases by some function
less than exponential.

For example, we live at a time where it may be possible, in the near
future (whatever *that* means) to increase human longevity to the point
where we are "practically" immortal (in the common use of the word).
Then the things that would decrease our measure would be common household
accidents and the like. If the probability of our death by accident were
to remain constant, then our measure would still be decreasing exponentially
(albeit with a much longer time constant than now). But that's not likely.
As we learn and grow, our safety precautions will become more sophisticated
(as they are becoming now), and we should expect the probability of
accidents to continue to decrease. Hence our measure will decrease by "less
than exponential".

So I'm still not convinced that computational continuations of me at age
1000 are necessarily of a measure so low that I would not expect to find
myself at that age.

Chris Maloney
"Donuts are so sweet and tasty."
-- Homer Simpson
Received on Sat Oct 16 1999 - 07:45:36 PDT

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